That's the story under the Beltway Bubbledome: willful ignorance of the Occupy movement and the will of the majority, other than from the usual populist diehards like Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich. But at the local level, in the cities, the encampments are under direct siege by..... Democratic mayors. And so, writes Paul Rosenberg in an excellent piece, it's about time we "Occupy the Democratic Party", too. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has been the most egregious in instigating violence against the protesters. But, writes Rosenberg:
"... Oakland is hardly alone when it comes to Democratic mayors ordering mass arrests of Occupiers for exercising their First Amendment rights. In fact, aside from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg - a Republican turned independent - most of the mayors involved have been Democrats. Boston's Mayor Tom Menino had 141 people arrested on October 11. Under Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, roughly 300 Occupy supporters have been arrested in a series of attempts to set up a stable base camp. In Atlanta, 52 protesters were arrested on October 26 under orders of Mayor Kasim Reed, who said the “last straw” came when a man carrying an AK-47 joined the demonstrators. But the man was rejected by the Occupiers, and what he did was legal under Georgia law. Besides, no Tea Party demonstration was ever shut down because someone there was carrying an assault weapon."
|Occupy Oakland Crackdown|
Just last night, Occupy St. Louis was forcibly shut down (by a Democratic mayor named Slay) at the urging of the private elite interests of the one percent.
The Republicans, of course, are simply, desperately off-the-wall, over-the-top nuts when it comes to trashing OWS. Americans for Prosperity, the Koch Brothers front group, had a kniption fit when protesters gathered around their hilariously named "Defending the American Dream" summit last weekend. Tim Phillips, AFP spokesman, breathlessly sent out emails reporting the attacks of the rabble against the besieged One Percent:
"During our "Tribute to Ronald Reagan" dinner on Friday night, the protesters with Occupy Wall Street stormed the convention center trying to take away our 1st Amendment rights!!!....Of course, this isn't true.* As a matter of fact, one of the OWS protesters was hit by a car driven by a convention attendee. The only people paying attention to the Andrew Breitbarts and the right wing any more are the minority die-hard right-wingers themselves. They no longer control the narrative, despite the implicit acquiescence of the conservative Democrats. OWS is on the ascendant. The pendulum is swinging back in the right direction --- or, should I say, in the left direction.
Their violence, vile language, and disrespect for fellow Americans was outrageous. One of our activists who is wheel-chair bound was denied use of the ramp to depart the center. A 78 year old grandmother from Michigan was assaulted and knocked down. The 7 year old child of one of our AFP Foundation activists was cursed and jostled..... They (OWS) possess a vehement hatred of free enterprise and capitalism. They openly call for socialism. We know that free enterprise has lifted more Americans out of the muck and mire of poverty and despair than any economic system in world history. They call for violence, break the law, and disrespect fellow Americans. We respect the law and work to peacefully support sound policy for our nation."
*Update/Clarification: I found this undoctored video of the event in question. No actual video exists of the elderly woman being pushed down the stairs, only the aftermath.** The usual Breitbart-ish splice and dice versions are, of course, making the rounds in Right Wing Cyberspace. What is not true, by the way, is Tim Phillips's characterization of OWS, as well as the claim that unfettered capitalism has raised Americans "out of the muck and mire of poverty and despair." Quite the opposite: deregulation of the big banks led directly to the crash and the overnight loss of trillions of dollars of household wealth, the greatest income disparity in history, 20 percent defacto unemployment and one in five people "officially" poor.
** Update on update: Reader Ned has found more videos of the pushing incident. See comments.